Players from the GuoGuang Opera troupe perform a scene from the traditional Chinese opera Keep Off Horses in January 2010. (Photo: IC)
Chinese costumes and props were in a colorful display Saturday evening when a group of artists from China's central city of Wuhan staged a local opera in Nigeria's capital of Abuja.
The performance was also spiced up with various Chinese acrobatic displays, songs, dances and a photo exhibition by the visiting artistic group from Wuhan city's culture bureau.
The Saturday evening performance was organized as part of the activities to mark the opening ceremony of the 5th anniversary celebration of the establishment of the China Cultural Center in Abuja and the 2018 celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, which fell on Monday this year.
The opera show offered a rare close up look at Chinese culture for many Nigerians, including local officials who graced the event.
Mesmerized by the performance, a large part of the audience jumped onto the stage at the end of the show to take pictures with the visiting Chinese artists.
Joy Asonye, an entertainment enthusiast, described the performance as "a unique one" which gave her a wonderful chance to further learn about the long history of China, its people and culture.
Asonye said she was most enthralled by the Keep Off Horses performance, one of the traditional operas in China's Hubei Province, which is about the generals of the Yang family who protect their homeland during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).
"That was amazing. It was like visiting China to me while I was watching the performance. Chinese culture is fascinating and I would love to learn more about it. I wish to visit China someday to experience the culture first hand," she said.
Some of the audience said after the evening's performance that they were more sure than ever that Wuhan is a charming city in China.
Also captivated by the opera performance, Zakari Shuaib, a culture and tourism promoter, said the show gave him a greater understanding of the Chinese culture "in a colorful manner."
"The Chinese government is making a positive impact across Africa and this is highly appreciated. We look forward to having a continuous and mutually beneficial relationship with China," he said.
Shuaib also congratulated the government and people of China on the occasion of the Mid-Autumn Festival which, according to his own understanding, strengthens the tradition of family gathering and moon gazing in the evening of mid-autumn by the Chinese people.
"The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Chinese Moon Festival, brings families together to celebrate the harvest under a full moon," he said, noting it is the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival in China.